Archie Rose launches new spirit distilled from salvaged bushfire grapes

With the state the world is in right now, it can be hard to remember that there was a whole other disaster we were worrying about back in January. As the year turned, massive bushfires erupted throughout Australia, causing particularly devastating harm to the East Coast.

As part of a three-part series designed to support the bitterly damaged Hunter Valley wine region, Sydney’s Archie Rose Distilling Co. have unveiled the Hunter Valley Shiraz Spirit, an eau de vie distilled from salvaged, smoke-tainted grapes in the region.

archie rose distilling co Hunter Valley Shiraz Spirit
Photo: Archie Rose Distilling Co.

Created to support the small Hunter Valley growers who experienced a wine season write-off due to the 2019/2020 Australian bushfires, Archie Rose Distilling Co. has revealed a very, very unique spirit.

Speaking about the spirit in a press release, Archie Rose founder Will Edwards shared:

“While watching the January bushfires this year we immediately began looking at how we could help growers only two hours up the road with the eventual result a series of brandy related spirits. As eau de vie is a spirit very few people have tried, we’re really excited to share this Hunter Valley Shiraz Spirit and looking forward to seeing how the smoke taint eventually plays into a brandy, currently laid down in casks to age for a minimum of two years.”

Conceived alongside Tulloch Wines and First Creek Wines, eight growers in need of support were identified within the Pokolbin, Broke Fordwich and Upper Hunter sub-regions of the Hunter Valley. More than 50 tonnes of smoke-tainted Hunter Valley 2020 shiraz and cabernet sauvignon grapes were gathered and experimented with, resulting in not only the Hunter Valley Shiraz Spirit, but also a brandy which is currently being aged for release in the coming years.

This isn’t the first time Archie Rose has displayed a sustainable or charitable streak – not even the first time in 2020. Recently they began producing hand sanitiser from their distillery wastage, delivering 100,000 bottles to Australians and providing employment to 27 workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

1000 bottles of the Hunter Valley Shiraz Spirit are now available to purchase here, with the option to pre-order a Hunter Valley Shiraz Brandy available as well.